Nusachei Ashkenaz and Sefard include the following phrase in Krias Shema at bedtime:
בשם ה׳ אלקי ישראל מימיני מיכאל ומשמאלי גבריאל ומלפני אוריאל ומאחורי רפאל ועל ראשי שכינת קל
In the Name of Hashem, G-d of Israel: To my right is Michael, and to my left is Gavriel; before me is Uriel, behind me is Refael, and upon my head is the Presence of G-d.
From the fact that this is said specifically by bed time, I imagine this indicates a specific connection to these angels guarding one while he is sleeping. I see that Nusach Sefard includes this in Tefillas HaDerech, perhaps for the same reason.
- Is this assumption correct?
- What is the origin of this concept, that these angels in particular guard over a person?
- Why in this particular formation?
If someone wants to have a crack at the Likutei Moharan, I noticed on Sefaria that he has something to say on the topic, but it’s too Kabbalistic for me to figure out. I would prefer an answer that uses less Kabbalah, but I’m not expecting such an answer to exist, since I am asking about angels, after all.